Lean Times on the Farm

If hog prices are so low, why isn't pork cheaper? Struggling farmers want help--and some answers

It's an irony that makes Gary Muller's financial troubles that much harder to bear. If the Iowa hog farmer were to hang out at a local supermarket, he might suspect that his business was thriving as never before. After all, there's no lack of customers buying pork chops or roasts for dinner; and in spite of the Asian economic woes that devastated most American farmers in 1998, pork exports keep on growing. But while Americans pay top dollar for their hams or BLTs, Muller and the rest of America's 115,000 hog farmers may as well give their animals away (some are...

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